The Packers might feel like they let one get away after coming close in Kansas City on Thursday night. The Packers allowed penalties in the Red Zone to stop a promising drive that reached KC’s ½ yard line. Fans that want to start in on the refs early in the 2022 season can point to an obvious hold by Kansas City’s Daurice Fountain on Packer Defensive back Micah Abernathy that was not called on the Chiefs second touchdown. Two penalties that potentially impacted the final score of this meaningless game.
In the second half the Packers had some good plays but could not string together a scoring drive. Self inflicted penalties and poor execution repeatedly spoiled the final chance for the Packers to display some dominance this preseason.
While Jordan Love made some NFL throws, the end result was similar to his game last year against the Chiefs. An interception that didn’t need to be thrown, ineffective scrambling, and the occasional overthrow combined with some impressive lasers into tight coverage resulted in 10 points and an eventual loss. If you compared his passes from last year’s game you could see significant improvement, but his connections on the critical plays that needed to keep drives alive were too few and far between. While the interception was in the final seconds of the first half, he had Amari Rodgers open for the first down and time for potentially three more plays. That ball should not have been thrown.
The bad included Rico Gafford’s second huge TD failure of the preseason. Against SF, Gafford tripped on his own feet responding to a 49er wide receiver making a simple head fake. Thursday night he failed to pick up the downfield receiver allowing Chief’s tight end Matt Bushman to have his first of two touchdown catches. Bushman isn’t even listed on the KC depth chart at tight end. If Bushman gets cut before Tuesday he may had landed himself a job in Green Bay. While the Packer’s coaches expressed faith in tight end Tyler Davis, his blocking struggles almost caused a blocked field goal. He also failed on at least two running play blocks along with the field goal close call. Can his one catch allow him to suit up next week?
The good included a number of nice catches by Amari Rodgers, Toure, Winfree and Hyman, although Hyman’s best catch was reversed due to a penalty on Zach Tom. After Thursday night the Packers can’t think they can sneak Toure through on to the practice squad. He had too many good catches.
Unfortunately, the bad also included RB Dexter Williams. His failure to recognize a blitz in time led to a sack. That combined with his dropped pass earlier in the preseason could spell the second end for the former sixth round pick.
Many fans have been waiting for first round pick Devonte Wyatt to make a splash play in preseason. While he did made a nice spin move that cleared a lane to the QB on a pass play, he could not reach the QB before the pass was released. The defensive line splash play went instead to Jack Heflin who blew up a Kansas City 4th down running play.
Once again the bad included special team return and coverage units. No kickoff return made it to the 25 and the kickoff and punt coverage gave up big plays. How is Rich Bisaccia going to turn this Cinderella step child into a princess is beyond any guess.
While Kansas City played most of its starters to open the game, the Packers stuck to the LaFleur way, holding all non rookie starters out of the game. The starters will be well rested and mostly healthy for Minnesota in 10 days. Let’s hope they are ready to play.